April 13 interview on ” Lift the Veil”, with thanks to Nathan Stolpman for having me on.
I won’t waste more of my time addressing each and every lie, slander, lawsuit-worthy libel from Newsbud, Edmonds, Spiro, they are too many. However, in the interview I address some, and below provide relevant content.
–My Qualifications: As John Pilger commented, the original journalists were self taught. That’s me, and thank goodness I wasn’t brainwashed by current journalism schools which crank out unthinking script readers, for the most part. I approach my writing from the perspective of a solidarity activist, on the ground and with the people.
“Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations, wrote about an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. He was referring to journalism, the media. That was almost 80 years ago, not long after corporate journalism was invented. It’s a history few journalists talk about or know about, and it began with the arrival of corporate advertising.
As the new corporations began taking over the press, something called ‘professional journalism’ was invented. To attract big advertisers, the new corporate press had to appearrespectable, pillars of the establishment, objective, impartial, balanced. The first schools of journalism were set up, and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around the professional journalists. The right to freedom of expression was associated with the new media.
…The whole thing was entirely bogus. For what the public didn’t know, was that in order to be professional, journalists had to ensure that news and opinion were dominated by official sources. And that hasn’t changed. Go through the New York Times on any day, and check the sources of the main political stories, domestic and foreign, and you’ll find that they’re dominated by governments and other establishment interests. That’s the essence of professional journalism.”
“I happen to agree with Eva’s take on Syria, but from a journalist’s perspective, the true importance of what she does goes beyond reporting from any single country. She challenges the accepted narrative–and that is the essence of journalism. Everything else is stenography. Budding foreign correspondents take note!!”
–On sharing other journalists/writers:
It would take too much time and too many links to point out that I routinely cite and promote other journalists. Just check my social media posts and my articles, particularly the following:
-My Oct 10, 2015, “Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria” highlighted the writings of: Professor Tim Anderson (and here); author Stephen Gowans (and here); journalist Sharmine Narwani (and here and here); political commentator Jay Tharappel (and here); writer Carlos Martinez; Indian journalist Prem Shankar Jha; journalist Tony Cartalucci (and here and here); journalist Seymour Hersh; journalist Serena Shim…and many more.
-My most recent article, “Caught in a lie, US & allies bomb Syria the night before international inspectors arrive” is largely an opinion piece, but nonetheless cites and promotes the excellent website, Moon of Alabama, high-recommended reading, as well as citing one of many excellent interviews done by former British Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford. Other recommended Ford interviews include this, this, and this.
And since I mentioned in the discussion the young man from Belgium, Bas Spliet, in Syria, here is my related share of his work.
Finally, although I mention these names later on in the conversation with Nathan, I’ll put them here among sources I recommend following (and routinely share 😉 ):
-investigative journalist, Cory Morningstar
-Lebanese commentator Hadi Nasrallah
-Lebanese commentator/analyst, Marwa Osman
-Syrian journalist, Alaa Ebrahim
-Syrian journalist, Khaled Iskef
-Lebanese war correspondent, Hussein Morteda
-French commentator (living in Aleppo), Pierre Le Corf
-writer/analyst Finian Cunningham
-Journalist Jeremy Salt
-writer Margaret Kimberly
-writer Brandon Turbeville
-Robert Suart’s Fabrication in BBC Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children’
…and so many more.
Snopes, like Newsbud, is disingenuous in stating that Vanessa and myself see ourselves as the only journalists who can or should report on Syria. That’s just nonsense. 🙂
–On 5 star treatment:
In our conversation, I referred to this article, Those Who Transmit Syrian Voices Are Russian Propagandists?, which I wrote in January 2017, after a round of smears. In it, I addressed the accusation that I am a Russian propagandist. Citing from an interview I did, I included excerpts from: ‘If I write in line with Russian media, it’s because we both tell the truth’ – Eva Bartlett to RT, 17 Dec, 2016, RT
“The fact that I do contribute to the RT op-edge section apparently, in some people’s eyes, makes me compromised. I began contributing to the RT op-edge section when I lived in Gaza, and this was not an issue for people who then appreciated my writing,” she stated.
“What I am writing, and what I’m reporting, and who I am citing are Syrian civilians whom I’ve encountered in Syria.
“If people do not wish to hear the voices of Syrian civilians and if they want to maintain their narrative which is in line with the NATO narrative – which is in line with destabilizing Syria and vilifying the government of Syria and ignoring the overwhelming wishes of the people of Syria – then they do this by accusing me of spreading propaganda,” the journalist stressed.
“The fact that my writing is in line with the Syrian people… in some respect aligns with Russian media reports, does not mean that I’m reporting Russian propaganda, and it does not mean that what Russian media is reporting is propaganda. It happened to be that I report the truth as I see it on the ground, and some Russian media happen to report the truth as they see it on the ground.
“Why do we not see these accusations when a BBC journalist goes to Syria and reports what I often believe to be not the full story? Why are they not accused of working for the State of England? Why are Al Jazeera journalists not accused of working for Qatar?”
I also noted that I am not ’employed by’ RT, I contribute to RT, as well as more regularly to a host of independent media (21st Century Wire, SOTT.net, MintPressNews, Dissident Voice, and formerly: Al Akhbar English, American Herald Tribune, Zero Anthropology, and others).
I addressed the issue of funding (which relates to smearers’ “5 star living” libels):
Addressing the smear-tactic accusations that I’m funded by either or both the Syrian and/or Russian governments, for the sake of time I’ll share excerpts from a social media post I wrote not long ago:
Writing truth doesn’t pay. Independent sites which are courageous enough to host the truth usually cannot afford to pay more than $50/article, or often nothing at all. But for those who have principles and are not writing about Syria and related issues for profit, this is irrelevant.
So the obvious question that hacks have assumed they know the answer to: how do people like myself and colleagues manage to exist, if not being paid ridiculously-well per article as some in corporate media, often writing lies, are.
In order to go to Syria many times, I have either saved money slowly and when able traveled to the country, or I have publicly fundraised. I travel the cheapest means, always with long layovers and inconvenient routes, but ensuring airfare that is far cheaper than those in corporate media traveling to Syria. Then again, that’s me making an assumption: perhaps they also flew economy from North America to Dubai (much further east than destination Beirut), slept on the airport floor, traveled back west to Beirut, stayed in the cheapest closet-sized rooms in the city or outside where it is cheaper, and took a shared taxi to Damascus….
…my article continued, you can read it in full here.
Further, on this page, collating my writings, if you scroll down you’ll come to my posts/writings from Lebanon (while waiting for visas to be approved).
Many of those posts I made while staying in the cheapest accommodations I could find, which included hostels, a campground, a convent, and otherwise with friends. Interestingly, wherever I went I was encountering Syrians whose narratives contrasted those of corporate media.
In my conversation with Nathan, I mentioned that all of my trips to Syria had been solo, by shared taxi (shared with random Syrians from a transit terminal), with the exception of two, which were peace delegations. The first was April 2014, and the second February 2015, with Cynthia McKinney, former attorney general Ramsey Clark and others. In only those two cases, I did not have to do the visa paperwork myself. In the other cases, I did, taking shared minibus to the closest point to the Syrian embassy in Beirut and walking the rest of the way, then waiting at least one month on numerous occasions for the visa approval.
–On Snopes’ lies, factual inaccuracies and ‘conspiracry theorist’ slur:
My lengthy rebuttal to the Snopes (and Channel 4) smear piece on me in December 2016, which (as I mentioned to Nathan) occurred at a time when I was giving talk after talk in the US and flooded with messages/emails, had no time to address. My reply included:
Channel 4 Team Mucked the Facts
Regarding the Channel 4 “fact check”, Patrick Worrall got his facts wrong in his very second sentence, which read:
“She writes a blog for the state-funded Russian media outlet Russia Today.”
Alas, the Channel 4 team didn’t do the most elementary investigative research to see where exactly my supposed “blog” on RT was. Had Channel 4 followed the link, they would find the opinion section dubbed “Op Edge”, to which 19 writers currently contribute, many of whom also contribute to numerous other publications. Many papers have such opinion sections, including The Guardian, which describes the entries there as “opinion pieces” and not “blog posts”.
Of girl number 2, Channel 4 wrote:
“Someone would have had to have buried a screaming child up to their chest in rubble and carefully assembled a large amount of heavy wreckage around and on top of her…”
Indeed. It’s funny how the White Helmets did exactly that in their “mannequin challenge” video, extracting from rubble a man who appears unable to walk… later photographs show the actor standing with his “rescuers”.
Channel 4 cited me as saying that the White Helmets can be found carrying guns and standing on dead bodies of Syrian soldiers, but did not address these points, nor did they address the curious issue of the obscene amount of funds these “volunteers” have received. What strange omissions. Channel 4 also did not address my point about internal refugees who fled not Assad, as claimed in corporate media, but the terrorists themselves, and how these internal refugees are given housing, food, education and medical care by the Syrian government. Not important?
Incidentally, Channel 4 (as I wrote) produced a report embedded with the Nour al-Din al-Zinki faction, who Channel 4 deemed “moderates,” although in July prior they had savagely beheaded Abdullah Issa. Not initially a problem for Channel 4, they did later remove the incriminating video.” This is the same Channel 4 whose reporter, when returned to Aleppo after its liberation, refused to “get into history” about his lies and war propaganda. In other words: Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru Murthy lied throughout 2016, and when confronted did not even have the dignity and integrity to admit he was wrong.
Regarding Snopes, my reply included:
In December 2016, the self-professed “fact check” website Snopes also produced a smear piece full of logical fallacies on me. Interestingly, had they not, I might not have come across their article whitewashing al-Qaeda’s rescuers.
Snopes’ Bethania Palma opened with this teaser (emphasis added):
“The idea that victims of mass tragedies are ‘recycled’ is a common theme among conspiracy theorists, but there are international reports and footage of the Al Quds Hospital attack.”
In addition to the unoriginal use of “conspiracy theorists”, two different issues were conflated: That of whether people are being used in staged videos, and that of the al-Quds hospital “attack”. The conclusion following “but” has absolutely nothing to do with the first part of the sentence. This is a straw man argument, and is designed to mislead.
Snopes continued with things like “outlandish-sounding claims” and that I believe “international media are conspiring to fabricate stories of hospital bombings,” and that I refer to “all factions fighting President Bashar al Assad’s forces as terrorists.”
As it turned out, my outlandish-sounding claims were true. The al-Quds hospital was not “destroyed”, the “last doctors” theme was a propaganda ploy, as was the “last pediatrician in Aleppo,” and many other ruses. Indeed, international media did conspire to fabricate stories, such as that on Omran Daqneesh, and also on Bana al-Abed.
The international media did conspire to claim that Assad was starving civilians in Aleppo, which was laid to rest when media actually spoke to civilians (and not terrorist mouthpieces) after Aleppo’s liberation.
The international media also conspired along the same lines regarding Madaya. I went to Madaya this June and learned the same sordid realities (starvation, torture, imprisonment) that civilians endured in Aleppo, due to al-Qaeda and affiliated extremists. The international media continue to conspire, with the same tired claims.
Snopes stated, regarding Syria’s 2014 Presidential election: “Voting in that election only took place in government-held territories.”
False. Voting occurred also in neighbouring Lebanon, where I witnessed the first of two days of mass-turnout of Syrians to vote. Syrians in countries like Canada which has closed the Syrian embassy flew to Damascus airport just for the right to vote.
Snopes also neglected to mention that, in their efforts to bring “democracy” to Syria, “moderates” shelled voting stations throughout Syria on June 3, firing 151 shells on Damascus alone, killing at least 5 and maiming 33 Syrians,” in Damascus, as I wrote in 2014.
As for whether forces fighting the Syrian army and civilians are terrorists, I have heard this repeatedly from civilians in Syria themselves, like this civilian in Aleppo in June 2017. Whether FSA, al-Qaeda, al-Zenki or another shade of extremist, they all commit acts of terrorism against Syrian civilians.
How Neutral is Snopes?
Snopes completely avoided investigating my mention that the White Helmets “can be found carrying guns and standing on the dead bodies of Syrian soldiers”, although she did cite me as having said it.
Near the beginning of her article, Snopes’ Palma mentioned that I was billed as an “independent Canadian journalist,” immediately following with: “She is also a contributor at RT, a news site funded by the Russian government.”
As noted in part one (and also on my blog), I contribute to a number of sites, RT just one among them, and do so precisely because these independent websites, and RT, allow me to write exactly what I believe, with zero censorship.
In any case, is Snopes as independent, neutral and apolitical as claimed to be, and as an impartial fact checking group must be?
A June 2016 article (albeit by the Daily Caller) looked at the politics of some of Snopes’ “fact checkers”, noting “Snopes’ “fact-checking” looks more like playing defense for prominent Democrats like Hillary Clinton.”
Another article noted Snopes’ “spinning for (Hillary) Clinton”, as well as occasions where Snopes patently lied.
Forbes had an interesting article on the matter, looking at a sensationalistic Daily Mail expose that one of Snopes’ founders “embezzled $98,000 of company money and spent it on ‘himself and prostitutes’.” While the Forbes author was initially sceptical of the Daily Mail piece, after corresponding with Snopes’ founder David Mikkelson, he became sceptical of the site’s lack of transparency and the competency of fact checkers.
The myth of Snopes as a reliable, neutral, fact checker is as dead as the myth of the White Helmets as neutral, volunteer, rescuers in Syria.
As mentioned, when Snopes contacted me about the 2nd smear piece Palma had a 5 pm deadline for, I did see the email but chose not to reply directly. However, Snopes did see my social media posts about them (here, here and here).
–On Newsbud/Sibel Edmonds attacks and smears (of many, many people):
A glimpse of how Edmonds’ rolls. In January, she began attacking 21st Century Wire, and then those who defended 21 Wire, inevitably blocking many people in her smear quest. Slideshow of some of these tweets:
Edmonds lied by stating she first became aware of myself and Vanessa Beeley when we started trying to get her to interview us last year. That’s not how events played out. Here is one of our first actual communications, Edmonds replying to my request that Newsbud kindly credit me for the nearly two minutes (not 2 seconds) of footage NB used. Following is our communication:
Newsbud, intellectually-dishonestly, chose to use the last email, implying it came out of no where, negating Edmonds’ own praise of my journalism (which she now calls “junkie journalism”) and inviting me to join the team. Since I have since spoken with three former employees of NB, I’m very glad I did not join the team.
One of these former employees, Pearse Redmond was, as he put it, quote, “briefly, in the inner circle of BFP and then slightly in News Bud.”
Redmond said this in an Oct 2017 interview in which he made clear that he had willfully left NB, but that Edmonds told a different story. I quote Pearse Redmond:
“She’s made comments alluding to that fact that I, quote, ‘didn’t make the cut’ at NewsBud, implying that I was fired. And she has said that I’m a disgruntled, that I was jealous… I left NewsBud. Anybody that wants to challenge me on that, I’ll gladly send you the email exchanges between me and Sibel, where I said I could no longer be a part of NewsBud. It was fairly amicable. It was in part due to the kind of pressures that were going on.”
In the interview, Redmond talks about the “toxic environment” he was in, in NB, and being told “what was acceptable to cover on the show.” He says, “I didn’t like being told that these stories were too left wing, too right wing, too this, too that… For all this rhetoric about how everybody’s allowed to say whatever you want, that is complete load of BS, that is not how it works there.”
He addresses Sibel Edmonds’ claim that she doesn’t censor:
“It’s a complete lie, a complete and utter lie. I would have endless, endless, Skype meetings with Sibel and others, but mostly with Sibel, where she would nitpick every single little thing: no don’t cover this, don’t cover that, I want more of this, because we’ve got to keep attracting this… She was obsessed with utilizing and maintaining what she believed was the true base that supported us, which were retired white men that were libertarians….This was the base that we had to constantly appeal to.”
Listen to the entire interview with Pearse Redmond, former employee of Sibel Edmonds, and make of it what you will.
That said, I recently exchanged emails with Pearse, and he has this to additionally say, shared with his permission:
“Yes Sibel is an absolute lunatic. That is why practically no one from Boiling Frogs works for her anymore. She either fired or alienated everyone. Everything I said in that interview is accurate and I know for a fact that multiple people who worked for her agree with me or had similar if not identical experiences.
Basically this is what she does. She picks a fight with someone (NBC, me and Tom, Gulen, 21 Century Wire) and makes it into a crusade. She dumps a ton of time and energy into said crusade for truth, and elicits money from her cadre of fanatical cult members to fund the crusade. Everything with her has to be some sort of battle that she can turn into a PR stunt.
“Sibel always has to have a big bad enemy that only she can defeat. Whether it’s the FBI, Gulen, NBC, it doesn’t matter, she just needs to have an enemy to go after. That way she can create a whole PR stunt around said enemy and use it to squeeze more money out of her followers, and to make it look like she is relevant and actually doing something.”
*Photos of our email:
I also emailed with another former NB employee, Jeff, who also gave me permission to share the following:
“I was hired to do video editing, but Sibel offered me my own show about a week in. I should have seen it as a red flag, but I saw it as a good opportunity and thus my show “Mind Hack with Jeff DeRiso” was born. Episodes are on Youtube, it ran weekly for 12 weeks total.
Somewhere around episode 7 or 8, Sibel and Spiro (Newsbud Executive Producer) abruptly decided to put all Newsbud videos behind the paywall. I understand that businesses need to create revenue, but the way they did it was very sudden, and poorly planned. That was the beginning of the end for me.
See below for the following: My note to the hosts of my favorite Podcast a month after resigning, where I recount some of my experience and reasons for leaving. Gives some additional insight into why I left and my state of mind at the time.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Jeff DeRiso
Date: Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 9:20 AM
There’s a LOT to be said about Newsbud. My experience was that it was highly unprofessional, sloppy, and they really had a ‘fly by the seat of our pants’ approach. That would be fine if they had a positive attitude and were open to admitting mistakes and learning, but in fact their attitude was one of ‘we’re so much better than everyone else’.
My direct superior was Spiro Skouras who Sibel told me was a ‘video expert’ (listed as the ‘Executive Producer’). In fact his knowledge of video production was novice or amateur at best, which was easy for me to discern as someone who has a genuine professional background in video and the resume to prove it. Instead of having me help them formulate a realistic video production process, they would just constantly try to catch me off guard with last minute and urgent projects and I would have to drop everything and shift gears at a moment’s notice.
On the evening of June 6th I received a Skype message from Spiro, who said he wanted ‘my opinion on something’. On the call he shared his screen with me to ask me how I liked the backgrounds for the green screen behind the person speaking. Upon seeing his screen I realized that the editing of the video was not even 1% complete! For A 3 HOUR VIDEO! In my professional opinion there was no way he could have had all of the work completed properly in the 3 days before June 10th. I made a comment like “You might want to finish the editing first before you worry about these details.” I said this because it felt like he was fishing for me to volunteer to rush to finish the project at the last minute. (I have this Skype call recorded)
On the evening of June 8th I received an e-mail from Sibel saying that Spiro had a ‘personal emergency’ (never found out what it was) and that the online course scheduled for June 10th would have to be postponed until late September. Not only that, Sibel also had to leave the country for a month because her grandmother was sick. She acted as if she did not know if Spiro would ever come back, and so assigned me instead to finish editing the online course in addition to the other projects I had already agreed to (summary: more work, same amount of money). I reluctantly agreed, partly because the content of the course was brilliant scholarly material by Professor Filip Kovacevic (who I respect highly).
For a short time in late June and early July (while Sibel and Spiro were both out of office), working for Newsbud was more manageable and enjoyable for me. Unfortunately in July Spiro returned as if nothing had changed and started sending his famous passive-aggressive e-mails to the entire staff. Nobody except me really understood that he couldn’t have completed the online course by the deadline, even if there had never been a ‘personal emergency’.
At this time I decided to work extra hard and finish every project so I could resign before Sibel had the chance to get back from her trip and start throwing more cumbersome assignments at me (which I intuitively felt was coming). I did just that, and gave Sibel my resignation and three-weeks notice on July 21st, citing the online course as a breaking point among other things.
Her response was childish and lacking in compassion or professionalism, though always retaining a veneer of ‘politeness’. I can send you the e-mail chain. I tried to confront her directly about Spiro’s lack of credentials and the online course fiasco, but she completely ignored the subject and never addressed it. It was like she had trained her mind to automatically forget any mistake they had ever made, instead of being open to learning from it.
So is Newsbud disinfo? I still can’t say for sure. If it is, it’s a highly subtle form of it, but I’m only left now with more questions than when I started. I can say a lot of their tactics were similar to recruitment tactics of cults (which I have studied in depth).
Video Production | Post-Production”
*Photos of the emails:
Finally, there is this post by a former employee, including these excerpts:
*Some of the endless smears, insults, threats against us by stalkers who have created multiple smear pages, blog and youtube pages, and use their own to slander many, many of us supporting Syria and Palestine. I’ve blotted their names out solely so as to not feed their egos.
More from the same stalker and his many smear pages:
On Scott Gaulke/Navsteva:
–Newsbud sources who conducted smear campaigns against good people:
As outlined in the interview, some of the people NB chose to interview, highlight, or otherwise interacted with online pre and post smear production, were involved in or supportive of nasty witch hunts against good people. One who waged such a smear campaign was Barbara McKenzie, interviewed at length by NB. She was joined by Scott Gaulke/Navsteva, who went so far as to create a smear page on Facebook, now finally taken down, called Uncomfortable Truths, using #BeeleyCabal, a hashtag one of the three main people smearing Prof Tim Hayward created when Vanessa, myself and others defended Hayward.
James Corbett’s takedown of Newsbud hit piece:
–48 second clip (from James Corbett’s report) showing hypocrisy of Edmonds regarding profanity.
–On Edmonds’ claim to have interviewed Paul Larudee, and his comments about myself and Vanessa Beeley:
Paul did indeed have many things to say about Vanessa and myself, and about Edmonds. Shared with his permission:
NB attempt to imply they had interviewed Larudee for their smear piece. Scene of frozen video looks convincing.
But, it’s from an interview with Larudee in December 2017, about boycotts, not about us, and not from 2018.
Regarding Newsbud’s attack on Professor Tim Anderson, I suggest people read Anderson’s own account of being framed for acts he did not commit, and on being vindicated. Read his account online here.
Regarding Newbud’s very MSM-like, grotesque smear of Syria’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, please watch this video.
Read my article on Mufti Hassoun: The real Syrian moderates: voices of reason
–Article and statement from communist party of great britain (marxist-leninist) on not funding myself and Vanessa Beeley. Excerpt:
Connections to communists
The report also referred to the two having received funding from the ‘Communist Party of Great Britain’. Since we assume that Ms Edmonds is referring to our party, the CPGB-ML, we wish to make it quite clear, for the record, that we do not fund and have never funded the work of either Vanessa Beeley or Eva Bartlett.
This is not because we do not think their work is worth funding, or because we would be ashamed to be connected with them. Quite the reverse. We make no secret of the fact that we consider the work they have done in smashing the narrative of the imperialist war propaganda machine to be more useful and more effective in laying the groundwork for a real anti-war movement than anything that has been done in 15 years by the Stop the War coalition (StW). Presumably, this is why StW never invites either of them to speak on its platform.
This is why we have helped to organise meetings at which they have spoken (one for Vanessa in Birmingham last year; one for Eva in London this January), and have mobilised for meetings in Bristol, Frome, London and Derry put on by other organisations. Unfortunately, since we are a small party and very low on funds, although we would have liked to have given more, the most either Vanessa or Eva received from us on each occasion was a train ticket, a meal and a bed for the night.
We make this clear not because we feel there would be anything wrong in our funding their work to a greater extent, but to illustrate how the “triple fact-checking” Sibel and her colleagues go about their business. We have no idea who informed her that we were funding Vanessa and Eva, but it was not a member of our party’s leadership, none of whom has been contacted to verify the claim.
No doubt such claims are also meant to discourage people from paying any attention to the testimony of Vanessa or Eva on the basis that if they receive funding from or associate in any way with communists, anything they have to say must necessarily be suspect. This is a well-worn bourgeois trope that doesn’t need dissecting in this article, except to note in passing that affiliation to the bourgeois Labour party, with the blood of millions on its hands, is never used in this way by such anti-communists.
A plea for censorship and repression
Accusing Vanessa and Eva of being “fake activists” and of conducting “vicious violent and malicious operations”, Edmonds goes on to call on “you the people, who value human decency”, and ends her report by making an impassioned plea for action to be taken against the “dangerous duo”:
“Any of you who is against online violence, profanity and terrorising, take it upon yourself to make it your priority to stop this operation. Do whatever you deem appropriate, for the sake of thousands of Syrian civilians, hundreds of decent journalists and activists, whose lives have been endangered, dozens of doctors who have been facing death threats …”
As James Corbett pointed out in the video cited above: “This is a concerted 75-minute in-depth hate piece that then ends with the launching of this campaign for ‘ethical journalism’ and ‘human decency’, which so far has only been and only is a drive to get Beeley and Bartlett expunged from the internet.”
Imperialism in trouble
The Newsbud report actually illustrates the weakness of the imperialists: they are on the run in Syria and their impotent rage is showing in such crude hit-pieces as we are now witnessing. The fact that such ‘mainstream’ outlets as the Guardian are no longer sufficient to the task of destroying an opponent’s credibility speaks volumes about the increasing lack of trust of official news outlets and the growing audience for independent sources of information about the world.
The campaign against media channels such as RT and Press TV, the growing clamour for censorship of social media, and the direct attacks on reporter-activists like Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett are all symptoms of this rage and of the imperialists’ fear that they are losing their hold on the minds of the workers at home.
For our part, we can only see this latest attack as a sign that Ms Beeley and Ms Bartlett, and others like them, are doing useful and effective work, and they should take it as a compliment that they are being singled out for such treatment.
–Post Newsbud smear production tweets:
Thanks to Cory Morningstar for setting the record straight regarding NB’s accusations of plagiarism:
–NB Professionalism: You question me, I block (and unsubscribe) you:
Just a wee selection of people complaining of being blocked and even unwillingly unsubscribed from NB by Edmonds for posing questions, countering her slander.
Now, I move on from that colossal waste of time, and re-direct my focus back where it should be.
–No chemical attacks in Douma:
-My article: Caught in a lie, US & allies bomb Syria the night before international inspectors arrive, excerpts:
For the past week, we were told that the US had ‘evidence’ and the UK had ‘evidence’ that Syria had used chemicals. The ‘evidence’ largely relied on video clips and photos shared on social media, provided by the Western-funded White Helmets (that “rescuer” group that somehow only operates in Al-Qaeda and co-terrorist occupied areas and participates in torture and executions), as well as by Yaser al-Doumani, a man whose allegiance to Jaysh al-Islam is clear from his own Facebook posts, for example of former Jaysh al-Islam leader, Zahran Alloush.
This, we were told, was ‘evidence.’ This and the words of the highly partial, USAID-funded, US State Department allied Syrian American Medical Society, which, like Al-Qaeda’s rescuers, only supports doctors in terrorist-occupied areas.
On April 12, even US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee that the US government does not have any evidence that sarin or chlorine was used, that he was still looking for evidence.
Syria, finding the claims to be lies and the sources tainted, requested that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) immediately come to Syria to investigate the claims. Accordingly, the OPCW agreed to send a team—the visas for which Syria granted immediately—which arrived in Damascus on April 14.
…The entire pretext of the US and allies’ illegal bombings of Syria is immoral and flawed. There is no evidence to the claims that Syria used chemicals in Douma. Numerous analysts have pointed out the obvious: that Syria would not benefit from having used chemical weapons. But America, Israel and allies would benefit from staged attacks.
The website Moon of Alabama noted discrepancies in the videos passed around on social media as “evidence” of Syria’s culpability, including the following:
“The ‘treatment’ by the ‘rebels’, dousing with water and administering some asthma spray, is unprofessional and many of the ‘patients’ seem to have no real problem. It is theater. The real medical personnel are seen in the background working on a real patient.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry has released interviews with two men who were included in the footage alleging a chemical attack has occurred. One of the men, Halil Ajij, said he worked in the hospital in question, they had treated people for smoke poisoning, saying: “We treated them, based on their suffocation,” also noting: “We didn’t see any patient with symptoms of a chemical weapons poisoning,” he said.
In an April 14 interview on Sky News, the former British Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, argued that the most elementary stage in the accusations game is to allow the actual inspection to occur.
“The evidence that chemical weapons were dropped is non-existent. Let the inspectors go in and possibly within days we will have a verdict but the jury is still out. …I’m totally confident that the inspectors will not produce one shred of evidence to back up the assertions of the Americans. If the Americans had proof, they’d have brought it forward. What they’re saying and what Mrs. May is saying, is just ‘take our word for it, trust us’. There’s not even a dodgy dossier this time.”
Israel and America benefit from the attacks… and are guilty of chemical weapons use
While the world’s eyes have been glazed over by chemical weapons script-reading journalists of corporate media, little notice is given to the ongoing Israeli slaughter and maiming of Palestinian unarmed demonstrators, targeted assassinations that last re-began with the March 30 murders of at least 17 unarmed Palestinians protesting in Gaza’s eastern regions. Israel’s murder of these unarmed youths, women and men got only mild tut-tuts from the UN, and was relegated to “clashes” by slavish corporate media. Israel is literally getting away with murder, as eyes are turned elsewhere.
According to Secretary Mattis, the US-led illegal attack on Syria “demonstrates international resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used on anyone under any circumstances in contravention of international law.”
The irony? Both America and its close ally Israel have used chemical weapons on civilians. The US has attacked civilians in Vietnam and Iraq, to name but two countries, with chemical weapons.
In 2009, I was living in Gaza and documenting Israel’s war crimes when Israel bombed civilians all over Gaza with white phosphorous. These were civilians with nowhere to run or hide, including civilians who had fled their homes and taken shelter in a UN-recognized school. I myself documented numerous instances of Israel’s use of white phosphorous….
–Testimonies of civilians liberated from terrorist rule in Ghouta:
–Israeli slaughter of unarmed Palestinians:
–Do people support President Assad?:
-From my Oct 2015, Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria, excerpts:
On March 29, 2011 (less than two weeks into the fantasy “revolution”) over 6 million people across Syria took to the streets in support of President al-Assad. In June, a reported hundreds of thousands marched in Damascus in support of the president, with a 2.3 km long Syrian flag. In November, 2011 (9 months into the chaos), masses again held demonstrations supporting President al-Assad, notably in Homs (the so-called “capital of the ‘revolution’”), Dara’a (the so-called “birthplace of the ‘revolution’”), Deir ez-Zour, Raqqa, Latakia, and Damascus.
In May 2013, it was reported that even NATO recognized the Syrian president’s increased popularity. “The data, relayed to NATO over the last month, asserted that 70 percent of Syrians support” the Assad government. At present, the number is now at least 80 percent.
The most telling barometer of Assad’s support base was the Presidential elections in June 2014, which saw 74 percent (11.6 million) of 15.8 million registered Syrian voters vote, with President al-Assad winning 88 percent of the votes. The lengths Syrians outside of Syria went to in order to vote included flooding the Syrian embassy in Beirut for two full days (and walking several kilometres to get there) and flying from countries with closed Syrian embassies to Damascus airport simply to cast their votes. Within Syria, Syrians braved terrorist mortars and rockets designed to keep them from voting; 151 shells were fired on Damascus alone, killing 5 and maiming 33 Syrians.
For a more detailed look at his broad base of popular support, see Professor Tim Anderson’s “Why Syrians Support Bashar al Assad.”
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